The office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has described as ‘baseless’ the grave allegations made by House Speaker Alex Tyler against the President, accusing her of blackmail and using financial inducement and other dictatorial and undemocratic schemes to unseat him as Speaker.
In a statement released yesterday, the President’s office said, “ We were totally shocked that when our country was engulfed with the historic visit of the First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Robinson Obama, the sitting Speaker of the 53rd Legislature would make such baseless and unfounded comments.
“Although Mrs. Obama’s visit was an occasion that witnessed the involvement and participation of senior officials of all branches of the Liberian government, it was a complete surprise for the 3rd ranking official of the Government of Liberia to attempt to take away the focus from the positives of the US First Lady’s visit to gossip politics,” the release said.
The President’s office rejected all of the claims made by Speaker Tyler and termed his claim “as a mere scarecrow tactics, principally because they are far from the truth.”
The President dismissed as “falsehood and totally baseless the insinuation about ‘the President-led plot’ to use inducement for the removal of the Speaker when there are very important matters of state that need to be urgently attended to.”
President Sirleaf appealed to Speaker Tyler to exercise leadership in resolving the pending crisis at the House of Representatives instead of bringing his colleagues and the Office of the President into public disrepute through the wild and unsubstantiated claims.
“President Sirleaf cannot and will not be drawn into fractious contestation where none exists. This is why over the years she has had an amicable working relationship with the Legislature and its leadership, as well as other components of the government of Liberia. She has gone over many times at the National Legislature to ensure that the fundamental principles of the three separate, but equal and coordinate branches of government remain cardinal and the pinnacle around which the government’s development agenda must anchor its axis,” the statement said.
“We chose to formally respond to these baseless claims just for the records, and will not spend time and energy on such matters but rather on matters that will improve the nation and impact the lives of the citizens.”
The President assured Liberians that the current state of affairs in the House, which is stalling national development agenda, will be eventually settled and encourage all, including Speaker Tyler and his colleagues, to keep focus on the things that matter for the Liberian people.
It may be recalled that Speaker Tyler, at a June 27 press conference in Monrovia, claimed that President Sirleaf, in her recent ‘diabolical ploy’ is allegedly calling on members of the House of Representatives to induce them through an unknown offer of financial packages to sign a resolution for his removal as speaker.
Speaker Tyler and several former and current government officials are embroiled in allegations of bribery, reported by the concessions watchdog, Global Witness, and there have been calls for the Speaker to recuse himself from his position, until the case is resolved.
As admitted by the President’s Office, the Global Witness Report’s allegations have stalled the country’s national development agenda, with recriminations and demonstrations at the capitol for and against Tyler’s recusal, which many Liberians have described as unfortunate.